Qatari emir meeting Merkel in 1st trip abroad since crisis


Qatar’s ruling emir arrived in Germany on Friday on his first trip abroad since a diplomatic crisis erupted between his tiny Gulf nation and its neighbors.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was to meet in the morning in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel before flying to Paris for talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

On the first stop on his trip, the emir met Thursday night in Ankara with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who’s been a major supporter of his country during the three-month-old diplomatic rift that’s left Qatar isolated from its Gulf neighbors.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar in June over its close relations with Iran and its alleged support for extremists.

Qatar denies supporting extremism, saying the crisis is politically motivated.

Germany has been supporting diplomatic efforts to try and defuse the crisis, and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said the country’s intelligence service would play a role in clearing up accusations that Qatar supports terrorist groups.

Turkey has been trying to mediate between Qatar and its neighbors, and has shown solidarity with Doha by delivering food and other supplies and boosting military ties, including sending troops to a Turkish base there.



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